Turmeric: The Secret Weapon To Fight Alzheimer's [Video Inside]
Can Turmeric Help Fight Alzheimer's?
Turmeric is an Indian spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. The spice scientifically known as Curcuma Longa is popular for having various health benefits. In appearance, turmeric looks exactly like ginger. However, the inside of the root is yellow in color, unlike ginger. Turmeric has Curcumin a compound that is believed to have the ability to keep off cancer, reduce cholesterol levels in the human body among many other benefits. The compound is fast gaining popularity within the medical community for its anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Health statistics from India indicate that brain-related health problems were not common in the country. Since the spice is from East India, scientists concluded that the lifelong
use of turmeric in the region contributed greatly to the absence of the disease. The spice is referred to as the golden goddess in traditional Indian culture. The Asian community around the world has used turmeric for thousands of years for medicinal purposes. Although the world had not paid attention earlier, recent statistics seem to indicate that it may be the treatment that neurosurgeons have been searching for in vain.
Other studies carried out on patients suffering from dementia showed that those who use turmeric for up to three months showed some level of improvement. They concluded that the use of turmeric coupled with therapy and proper diet could cure brain health conditions.
What Is Alzheimer's?
Alzheimer's is a type of dementia. Dementia refers to an extreme loss of intellectual ability and memory loss. The disease has been ranked among the top 10 causes of death in the United States. People suffering from dementia are unable to carry out everyday routine activities. Contrary to popular belief, Alzheimer's is not only a preserve of the old. A significant percentage of much younger people have been diagnosed with the disease in the recent past.
The disease affects the human brain cells. The breakdown of cells happens progressively causing a progressive dysfunction of the brain. Toxic changes occur in the human brain when protein deposits form tau tangles and amyloid plaques. Since this is an abnormal occurrence in the human brain, the neurones become dysfunctional. Every dysfunctional neurone dies and as a result losses connection with the rest. In a sense, Alzheimer's causes the brain to shrink progressively and becomes much smaller. Scientists are however yet to understand accurately the cause of the disease and how it progresses. Neurosurgeons around the world have carried out a lot of research with regards to this disease, but they are yet to identify a definite cure. Patients are provided with treatment to help them cope with the symptoms. They are also given extra care to ensure that they do not cause harm to themselves of others.
A majority of Alzheimer's patients are 65 years of age or older. However, up to 5% of the population have exhibited a younger-onset of the disease with patients as young as 45 years old being diagnosed with the disease. Scientists are yet to pinpoint the exact cause of Alzheimer's, but some factors are suspected to be responsible including lifestyle factors, genetic factors, and various environmental factors. Older people are simply at more risk than the younger ones. Patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's can live between 4 and 20 years after the symptoms manifest. Researchers suggest that the progressive damage of the brain starts close to a decade earlier before the symptoms of the disease present themselves.
There are a couple of signs that may indicate that a person is suffering from Alzheimer's including:
• Memory loss
Although most people tend to lose memory occasionally when they are well advanced in age, extreme cases of memory loss may be an indicator of Alzheimer's disease. They may forget names of close relations.
• Extreme confusion
People suffering from Alzheimer's get confused about places, events and time that they would normally not have a problem remembering. Patients may get confused about people's faces and identity.
Patients may also have unreasonable suspicions about people around them. They may be paranoid against their caregivers or family members living with them.
• Difficulty in physical activity
The disease gets worse with time since it's a progressive disease. Patients with time may find it difficult to walk and even swallow food. Previously simple activities like speaking become laborious for them or totally impossible.
How Can Turmeric treat Alzheimer's
The World Health Organisation and other international health regulators have ruled out various chemical methods attempted at fighting Alzheimer's. Most of the treatments that scientists have proposed and tried have proven to be too aggressive on brain cells and even lethal to the patients. The complexity of the disease makes it difficult to come up with appropriate treatment.
Turmeric is giving hope to people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Various research carried out by highly experienced neurosurgeons indicate that continuous treatment of patients with turmeric improves their health.
A medical journal published by Ayurveda in August 2012 titled 'Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer's disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia gave hope to Alzheimer's patients. The study was carried out on patients who were exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's including anxiety, irritability, urinary inconsistencies, and apathy among other symptoms. The patients were under special care by caregivers. The researchers administered three powder capsules of turmeric for twelve weeks. The patients consumed in total 764 milligrams of turmeric per day which contains 100 milligrams of curcumin.
After three months, all the patients showed remarkable improvement. The symptoms significantly subsided as the patients showed less dependence on their caregivers than before. One of the patients that made a lot of visible progress was able to recognize family members that they had failed to identify for a year.
Curcumin is a component found in turmeric believed to be the cause of the golden hue the spice has. This element is also thought to be the magic behind turmeric's power to treat and prevent Alzheimer's.
How turmeric works
For the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's, turmeric has some properties that make it a possible solution.
• Research indicates that turmeric can get rid of the toxic amyloid plaque that occurs in the brain causing the disease. Its anti-oxidative property reduces damage to the brain. The use of this anti-oxidant may be the reason why the regular use of the ingredient in Indian cuisine has made the region to have minimal to no cases of the disease.
• The rich natural spice also enhances the restoration of brain neurones that had become dysfunctional as a result of the progressive destruction by Alzheimer's. Turmeric's neurorestorative works to destroy existing plaques and repairing destroyed neuritis. If this happens progressively, the functional memory is eventually restored.
• Turmeric also inhibits the formation of amyloid beta proteins in the brain and therefore, protects from Alzheimer's. Apart from curcumin, other components in turmeric also ensure the disease does not occur including tetrahydro curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. Turmeric's anti-amyloidogenic properties make it a possible treatment for Alzheimer's.
• Turmeric's metal-chelating ability binds copper and iron as opposed to zinc. The spice, therefore, plays a protective role against Alzheimer's.
So does turmeric cure Alzheimer's? Researchers are still trying to come up with a definitive answer to this question. Turmeric has properties that can cure other neurodegenerative disorders. However, more research has to be put in place to find out how to harness all the abilities in this magical ingredient and come up with a dependable for of treatment.
Turmeric has several side effects that greatly contribute to the challenges of using the spice for the treatment of neurological diseases. Lower blood sugar levels occur in people who have egested turmeric. Low blood sugar is deadly in people having diabetes. Therefore a combination of diabetes and Alzheimer's present a challenge in treatment using turmeric. Unfortunately, both conditions are common among much older people.
Components found in turmeric make the process of blood clotting to be much slower. Alzheimer patients suffering from slow blood clotting disorders may be at a high risk if they apply turmeric treatment. In case they get cuts or bruises, their lives will be in great danger.
Turmeric has components that have the same effect on the body like estrogen. Oestrogen is known to aggravate some health conditions. For example, people suffering from endometriosis, gallbladder problems, and cancers of the breast, ovaries, and the uterus must avoid the use of turmeric by all means. Although most of the side effects of the use of turmeric are quite mild, like an upset stomach, many of the side effects can be life-threatening. People who suffer from any health conditions must consult a physician before taking up any proposed natural form of treatment.
If you want to enjoy a healthy life during your youth and old age, it is advisable to find out natural foods and supplements to consume. It is also important to live a healthy lifestyle that will not present an environment for health conditions to thrive. Turmeric can be consumed in a variety of ways in the everyday foods that we consume. Apart from prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative conditions, using turmeric will help you enjoy other health benefits.